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Rescooped by Michelle Carvajal from Geography Education
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A Keyhole into Burma

A Keyhole into Burma | MLC Geo400 class portfolio | Scoop.it
On my last afternoon in Bagan, I went in search of a meal that would serve as both lunch and dinner, before boarding my flight...

 

First and foremost the fact that this man was recommended to go down a dirt path road to find a restaurant is incredible. Based on his observations, it doesnt seem like it is a place a restaurant would be and even so, it was recommended to him. What is best about this article is how a simple restaurant owner knew how to effectively communicate and also provided an inside look to the mentality of how some Burmese people think. It is good to see that he opened up and explained how proud he was to be from Burma, especially with the fact the Robbie Williams made a song and within that song mentioned Mandalay. He also speaks of a ban in the country that doesnt allow for the buying of western music or anything that is not from Burma. This restriction is a little extreme for my taste but to each their own. I am glad to see that one man can inspire people to learn more of what is out in the world and more importantly his story gives us a glimpse of what may come. I feel as though the more people know about the world, the more they interact and benefit from tourists, researches etc...the more the government will open up to allowing things outside of their political, social realm. - M.Carvajal


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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 27, 2012 5:53 PM
It's good to see a place like Burma is showing signs of opening up politically, it shows other poor countries could do the same.
Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 12:23 PM

Yet another collection of pictures I'm scooping, but this time there's over 100 of them! Getting a western view into the insulated society of Burma is a rare opportunity, this shows some interesting pastimes such as Water buffalo surfing, but also things of major cultural significance, such as the importance of Buddhism.

Rescooped by Michelle Carvajal from Geography Education
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How They Found National Geographic's "Afghan Girl"

How They Found National Geographic's "Afghan Girl" | MLC Geo400 class portfolio | Scoop.it
She was one of the world's most famous faces, yet no one knew who she was. Her image appeared on the front of magazines and books, posters, lapel pins, and even rugs, but she didn't know it.

 

It is amazing that so many are photographed and used in articles, magazines, and for class presentations however no one really every takes the time to know who all these people are. I had seen this photograph during my middle and high school years but never knew who she was. It is fascinating that after twenty years she was found once again however the once young face is now aged and more than what it should be. Her name is Sharbat Gula, and its important people know that..I must say that it is sad to see that people who live in refugee camps are so affected by the weather and living conditions. I'm assuming that there are many who never knew who she was, where she was from, and didn't care to know. I always wondered however if she ever received any of the money that was earned from the repeated use of her photographs. As its stated in the article she claimed that she is "looked after". We see that muslim faith and traditions are still  instilled in this area. She had to be granted permission by her family to be able to speak to the photographer once again. It proves that certain traditions will always continue to exist and it gives us a better sense of how faiths continue to control certain aspects of people's lives. Not that it is a bad thing but its good that we see this. - M. Carvajal


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Derek Ethier's comment, October 18, 2012 1:31 AM
Refugee camps can obviously take a toll on one's life. This women, once beautiful, aged only 20 years. However, it looks as if she has aged at least double that. It is terrible that people have to live in refugee camps as war ravages their nation. Nobody deserve that, but those are collateral damages of war.
Brian Nicoll's curator insight, December 12, 2012 12:28 AM

While the picture may be famous, she still represents depressing life that the women of her generation live.  I found it interesting that she had no idea that her photo was so iconic.  To have a photo taken of you that was used in for a variety of different things, all while not knowing about it is quite shocking.  As famous as the photo is however, it should not cloud the symbolism that the photo stands for. 

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 20, 2013 10:39 PM

I'm so glad that National Geographic found such an exotic specimen in the wild and that the US government graciously put its technology to use to catalog her..... seriously the Western fascination with the image of this Afghan woman, 1 of insanely many, is something I don't get. I think it makes us all feel "cultured" and "informed" when we can sit in the comfort of a dentist or doctor's waiting room and breeze through a Nat Geo cover to cover. A cheap thrill.

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Latvia votes: Is Russian our language, too?

Latvia votes: Is Russian our language, too? | MLC Geo400 class portfolio | Scoop.it

It is understandable to see where Latvians are coming from. For many, its the only thing that they can hold on to: Culture. Latvians feel as though they should be able to hold on to their own language and shouldn't have to learn another if they are in an area where they all speak the same. It almost relates to how cultural identity is perceived here in the US. Many feel as though they do not need to learn spanish for this was an english speaking country. & there are others who believe that languages are forced on them. The issue will always remain however, in a place where majority of the people speak Russian it would be wise for everyone to atleast make it a language you can learn about it in school at your own discretion. Imposing it as a national language is indeed hindering those who do not speak it and who are possibly older in age to learn it. That takes away from people having the right to chose what they want to learn and identify with. --M. Carvajal

 

For more on the vote, see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17083397    


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Nicholas Rose's comment, September 4, 2012 11:48 AM
This article is really interesting to read about. The reason why is because of the existence of the Soviet Union during World War II. Each Soviet Republic during that time had their own language and children were taught to speak Russian during school. Since the Soviet Union fell after the Cold War in 1991, all of the former Soviet Republics are free countries now and should be allowed to speak their official language instead of Russian.
Derek Ethier's comment, October 18, 2012 1:14 AM
It is definitely important for Latvians to hold on tightly to their culture. However, the Soviet Union caused Russian culture and language to spread throughout the USSR and countries are feeling the effects today. There are millions of Russians in former satellite nations who hold on to their Russian culture. At the same time, these nations wish to regain their national pride especially after the fall of the Soviet Union. It is a difficult conundrum, but I do agree with the Latvians' decision.
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Why is King Abdullah willing to let Saudi women vote but not drive cars?

Why is King Abdullah willing to let Saudi women vote but not drive cars? | MLC Geo400 class portfolio | Scoop.it
King Abdullah announced on Sunday that  Saudi women will be allowed to vote and run for office in municipal elections beginning in 2015.

 

Many take for granted the privelege of driving. For some, they consider it a right as a citizen of XYZ country. Saudi women however, see it as a necessity in certain cases and in other cases they do not want said privelege. It shows how strict the laws over women are in Saudi Arabia that in the age we're in, they are still denied the simplest of things. The fear is that woman will become independent. They will start looking for jobs and having the mentality that they can do anything and do not have to rely on a man. This is something that most men fear in Saudi Arabia and want to prevent from happening. This would bring a new more westernized culture which clearly goes against all their traditions.

From a political standpoint many feel as though the right to vote for women will never happen. That Kng Abdullah can change his mind or his successor may go back on his word by 2015. What if does go through with his word? Is he possibly trying to score points with the female population so that they do vote for his successor and others? This is something to ponder. In all, I believe it will take time for the change to happen as it did here in the US, but it would be economically beneficial if the traditions were not so strict and women could be entitled to work in areas where men were not needed. M.Carvajal


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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 20, 2013 12:54 PM

This amazing to see that women still have very little rights in this kingdom.  Again like the article state the right to vote in Saudia Arabia is noting, especially when compared to the right to vote in the US.  This is still a monarchy, ruled by a family from above, not a constitiutional monarchy like the UK, there is no parliament and  the elections can be canceleld at any time.  To the Saudi's giving the women the right to drive goes against their very culture, their belief that women need to be subserviate to men.  The right to vote, since it is meaningless, means nothing to advacne women's rights in Saudia Arabia.  The king really is not giving anything at all, he is just making it look like he is...interesting.

Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, October 21, 2013 1:15 PM

I find this article to be interesting because while granting women the right to vote and run for office seems like it would be a bigger deal than granting women the right to drive a car, it is the exact opposite.  Women now have the right to vote and to run for political office in Saudi Arabia, but this essentially means nothing because Saudi leaders can indirectly block women from this said right by postponing elections or altering votes, and so forth.  Elections are purely symbolic in Saudi Arabia, so this new right for women that will begin in 2015 really does not mean much.  However, the right for a woman to drive a car, is so dangerous to Saudi leaders because this would give women so much power.  They could freely transport themselves anywhere, and look for a job.  This article shows the impact of particular political decisions on particular groups of people.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 4, 7:54 PM

It seems odd that women can vote but not drive an automobile. It appears the King does not want women to explore the country freely. He may not want to give women all that freedom at one timeā€¦ Also, he must not want women traveling and exploring areas alone in a car. Although the entire situation in Saudi Arabia is sad, this appears to be a small step forward for women. 

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Will There Be a Central Asian Spring?

Will There Be a Central Asian Spring? | MLC Geo400 class portfolio | Scoop.it

Kazakhstan may not be ripe for revolution, but the West is making the same mistakes it made in the Arab world

 

All there really is to say about this issue is that in times where it is benificial for other countries to turn their head, they will. It is a shame that there was no intervention. Not for the benefit of the government or foreign countries, but for the benfit of the people who would be affected from the results of this election. As said within this article referring to the day that Nursultan Nazarbayev basically stole the election..  "On that day democracy was killed, just as in Zhanaozen our peaceful citizens were killed with machine guns!" - OSDP deputy leader Amirzhan Kosanov. People are losing their rights and freedom and all due to the fact that rich people in certain nations can get away with things based on their economic standing and who they know politically. Not only this, but if you do interfere or say something, you can disappear and no one would question it. If someone is in good favor with anyone in the west, they get away with more than those who are not on that friendly of a term. People can shape countries however they want, rule their people however they want, but it should still be up to the people to elect their ruler in a fair election. No matter who is friends with who, justice should be served equally. -- M.Carvajal


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Derek Ethier's comment, October 18, 2012 1:36 AM
It is sad to see Western nations ignoring Kazakhstan's drift into dictatorship as it ignores all democratic ways of governance. Since the current leader in charge is friendly with the west, powers like NATO do little to intervene. The hypocrisy behind it is that we did and said much more in Syria and Egypt where similar events took place.
Brian Nicoll's curator insight, December 11, 2012 11:44 PM

It bothers me that this is being over looked by our government.  If they are going to stand up and back the resurgance in Syria and Egypt then why are we not doing it here to?  All it would take would take is a backing from our government, but due to the ties that the have with the West, we are not stepping in.  This shows complete hypocrisy on our part. 

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Devolution: A Beginner's Guide

Devolution: A Beginner's Guide | MLC Geo400 class portfolio | Scoop.it
What is devolution and how has it changed how Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are governed?

 

This article with videos, charts and images was designed as a primer for UK voters for the 2010 election to understand who devolution in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland were reshaping the political landscape in the United Kingdom.  It is general enough that even though it is outdated as a news story, it serves as a concrete example from geography students to understand the processes and reasons for a decentralization of political power.

 

-This article is clear and straight to the point in giving the reader good examples of devolution and how it affects each country politically. The transfer of powers changes each country in the sense that they can each decide over their own local gov't (whichever it may be). With this each respective country can even provide funding (grants) toward their police dept, fire dept etc. What is interesting in this article however is how UK chose to stay the way it is. In a sense it is actually smart because they still have a say in matters of foreign policy and can still pass legislation according to devolved matters within the devolved government. The devolution of powers affect the regular citizen of each country how? In a positive or negative way?- M.C


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chris tobin's curator insight, March 22, 2013 4:23 PM

Here is an article March 2013 updating the latest in Wales

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-21683771

 

"Silk Commission:  Mixed Reaction Over Devolution Power" 3/16/2013 BBC

 

     Since 1997 there have been many changes in the devolution processes Westminster still holds the most governing decisions but it seems that the UK taxpayers do not want their money to go to other countries for public services. 

Railing is a big issue since there have been alot of plans for improving infrastructure in transportation to build up the economy.  This will be particularly interesting to follow in the news.

     Liberal Democrat Leader Kirsty Williams stated a need for a new model of devolution  with clear definitions and the Conservative Lib. Dem. coalition's 114 page document to the Silk Commission states policing, broadcasting, and energy projects should remain under Westminster but to devolve teachers pay and rail franchises.

 

 

 

    

    

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 6, 2013 9:51 PM

The devolution of the United Kingdom is taking place at a legistlative level right now- if/when will Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland vote to actually secede? The article made mention that people in Britain are starting to get angry that they are subsidizing programs in Scotland that the English pay for themselves. What are the benefits to being a part of the United Kingdom? What's the best balance of power for all involved?

Jacqueline Landry's curator insight, December 17, 2013 6:21 PM

This shift can reshape the countries in many ways, financially, and the over all quality of life. A place will do better with connections than standing alone. This may help with international relation issues and build new relationships. When places depend on one another it can reshape the Country. It can also help with investment and jobs.